Among the items on that list of “Things a CEO Doesn’t Want on Their Resumé” is “Being the one in charge at the time of one of the biggest data breaches in U.S. history.” So perhaps it’s not a shock that Equifax CEO Richard Smith is stepping down only weeks after admitting that his credit bureau failed to secure the personal information of about half the U.S. adult population.
Smith’s exit was announced this morning by the Equifax board of directors, with today being the CEO’s final day. Smith has also stepped down from his spot as Chair of the Equifax board.
“The cybersecurity incident has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right,” said Smith in a statement. “At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward.”
The board doesn’t have a new CEO lined up, but is giving Paulino Barros — head of Equifax’s Asia-Pacific operations — the interim CEO gig while the company decides on the best person to steer the company in the right direction after the embarrassment of the data breach that compromised information for some 143 million people.
Smith was slated to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Oct. 4 at a hearing about the Equifax hack. It’s not yet clear if he’ll still be expected to take a break from scouring the Help Wanted ads for a few hours to explain what happened at his now-former company.